Academic Books by and about Black Women – 2019 edition

Academic Books by and about Black women 2020

Since 2017 I have released an annual list on this blog that links to all the books Black women academics or academics that write about Black women have published. You can check out 2017 and 2018 if you haven’t yet. This year’s list was built based on tweets I had captured over on @Blackfeminisms that cited these authors. That said, this list is not exhaustive and will require feedback from anyone who reads it. Please feel free to contact me or comment on the post if there is an academic book published in 2019 on Black women or by a Black woman scholar that I may have missed.

In 2019 Black women from a wide range of disciplines wrote books: Theatre studies, science and technology studies, sociology, psychology, public health, and many more. Beyond that, they covered a wide range of topics related to Black women and girls: how they navigate the criminal justice system; how they strategize to raise their children; how they confront inequality while living with HIV/AIDS and many more topics. These scholars also took a Black feminist or womanist lens to unpack and provide solutions for a host of issues that affect broader society. Add these books to your syllabi, cite them in your own research, and encourage your libraries to stock them.

Happy reading in 2020 and beyond!

  1. Maisha S. Akbar – Preaching the Blues: Black Feminist Performance in Lynching Plays
  2. Paula C. Austin – Coming of Age in Jim Crow DC: Navigating the Politics of Everyday Life
  3. Bianca J. Baldridge – Reclaiming Community: Race and the Uncertain Future of Youth Work
  4. Kabria Baumgartner – In Pursuit of Knowledge: Black Women and Educational Activism in Antebellum America
  5. Ruha Benjamin – Race After Technology: Abolitionist Tools for the New Jim Code
  6. Ruha Benjamin et al. – Captivating Technology: Race, Carceral Technoscience, and Liberatory Imagination in Everyday Life
  7. Nishaun T.  Battle – Black Girlhood, Punishment, and Resistance: Reimagining Justice for Black Girls in Virginia
  8. Keisha N. Blain and Tiffany M. Gill – To Turn the Whole Word Over: Black Women and Internationalism
  9. Andrea S. Boyles – You Can’t Stop the Revolution: Community Disorder and Social Ties in Post-Ferguson America
  10. Hazel Carby – Imperial Intimacies: A Tale of Two Islands
  11. Orly Clerge – The New Noir: Race, Identity, and Diaspora in Black Suburbia
  12. Patricia Hill Collins – Intersectionality as Critical Social Theory
  13. Tressie McMillan Cottom – Thick: And Other Essays
  14. Dána-Ain Davis – Reproductive Injustice: Racism, Pregnancy, and Premature Birth
  15. Dawn Dow – Mothering While Black: Boundaries and Burdens of Middle-Class Parenthood
  16. Jennifer Eberhardt – Biased: The New Science of Race and Inequality
  17. Wanda K.W. Ebright – Dance on the Historically Black College Campus: The Familiar and the Foreign
  18. Akwugo Emejulu and Francesca Sobande – To Exist is to Resist: Black Feminism in Europe
  19. Stephanie Y. Evans, Andrea D. Domingue, and Tania D. Mitchell – Black Women and Social Justice Education: Legacies and Lessons
  20. Eve Ewing – 1919
  21. Chandra L. Ford et al. – Racism: Science & Tools for the Public Health Professional
  22. Adom Getachew – Worldmaking after Empire: The Rise and Fall of Self-Determination
  23. Aria S. Halliday – The Black Girlhood Studies Collection
  24. Saidiya Hartman – Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments: Intimate Histories of Riotous Black Girls, Troublesome Women, and Queer Radicals
  25. Minda Harts – The Memo: What Women of Color Need to Know to Secure a Seat at the Table
  26. K. Melchor Quick Hall – Naming a Transnational Black Feminist Framework: Writing in Darkness
  27. Ra Malika Imhotep and miyuki baker – The Black Feminist Study Theory Atlas
  28. Shirley A. Jackson – Routledge International Handbook of Race, Class, and Gender
  29. Candice M. Jenkins – Black Bourgeois: Class and Sex in the Flesh
  30. E Patrick Johnson – Honeypot Black Southern Women Who Love Women
  31. Aisha Johnson-Jones – The African American Struggle for Library Equality: The Untold Story of the Julius Rosenwald Fund Library Program
  32. Julia S. Jordan-Zachery and Duchess Harris – : Black Girl Magic beyond the Hashtag: Twenty-First-Century Acts of Self-Definition
  33. Annette K. Joseph-Gabriel – Reimagining Liberation: How Black Women Transformed Citizenship in the French Empire
  34. Kara Keeling – Queer Times, Black Futures
  35. Tiffany Lethabo King – The Black Shoals: Offshore Formations of Black and Native Studies
  36. Naa Oyo A. Kwate – Burgers in Blackface: Anti-Black Restaurants Then and Now
  37. Gary L. Lemons – Hooked on the Art of Love: bell hooks and My Calling for Soul-Work
  38. Bettina Love – We Want to Do More Than Survive: Abolitionist Teaching and the Pursuit of Educational Freedom
  39. Stacie McCormick – Staging Black Fugitivity
  40. Tsedale M. Melaku – You Don’t Look Like a Lawyer: Black Women and Systemic Gendered Racism
  41. Jennifer C. Nash – Black Feminism Reimagined: After Intersectionality
  42. Amaka Okechukwu – To Fulfill These Rights: Political Struggle Over Affirmative Action and Open Admissions
  43. Chinyere K. Osuji – Boundaries of Love: Interracial Marriage and the Meaning of Race
  44. Nichole Phillips – Patriotism Black and White: The Color of American Exceptionalism
  45. Therí Alyce Pickens – Black Madness :: Mad Blackness
  46. Ashanté M. Reese – Black Food Geographies: Race, Self-Reliance, and Food Access in Washington, D.C.
  47. Loretta Ross, Lynn Roberts, Erika Derkas, Whitney Peoples, and Pamela Bridgewater Toure – Radical Reproductive Justice: Foundations, Theory, Practice, Critique
  48. Tina K. Sacks – Invisible Visits: Black Middle-Class Women in the American Healthcare System
  49. Shennette Garrett-Scott – Banking on Freedom: Black Women in U.S. Finance Before the New Deal
  50. Savannah Shange – Progressive Dystopia: Abolition, AntiBlackness, + Schooling in San Francisco
  51. Jennifer Patrice Sims and Chinelo Njaka – Mixed-Race in the US and UK: Comparing the Past, Present, and Future
  52. Karla Slocum – Black Towns, Black Futures: The Enduring Allure of a Black Place in the American West
  53. Sabrina Strings – Fearing the Black Body: The Racial Origins of Fat Phobia
  54. Brandi Thompson Summers – Black in Place: The Spatial Aesthetics of Race in a Post-Chocolate City
  55. Christin Marie Taylor – Labor Pains: New Deal Fictions of Race, Work, and Sex in the South
  56. Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor – Race for Profit: How Banks and the Real Estate Industry Undermined Black Homeownership
  57. Ebony Elizabeth Thomas – The Dark Fantastic: Race and the Imagination from Harry Potter to the Hunger Games
  58. Cheryl Thompson – Beauty in a Box: Detangling the Roots of Canada’s Black Beauty Culture
  59. Lisa Tomlinson – Una Marson
  60. Chanequa Walker-Barnes – I Bring the Voices of My People: A Womanist Vision for Racial Reconciliation
  61. Celeste Watkins-Hayes – Remaking a Life: How Women Living with HIV/AIDS Confront Inequality
  62. Traci West – Solidarity and Defiant Spirituality: Africana Lessons on Religion, Racism, and Ending Gender Violence
  63. Monica M. White – Freedom Farmers: Agricultural Resistance and the Black Freedom Movement
  64. Shaunte Brown White and Kandace L. Harris – Representations of Black Womanhood on Television: Being Mara Brock Akil
  65. Qianna Whitted – EC Comics: Race, Shock, and Social Protest
  66. Rafia Zafar – Recipes for Respect: African American Meals and Meaning

Special thanks to Leea Allen, Keisha N. Blain, Wanda Ebright, Rihana Mason and Amaka Okechukwu, and Blanca E. Vega for their suggestions. Thanks also to Candice M. Jenkins, Lynn Roberts, Stacie McCormick, Tsedale M. Melaku, Traci West, Monica M. White, and Qiana Whitted.


  • The Dark Fantastic: Race and the Imagination from Harry Potter to the Hunger Games by Ebony Elizabeth Thomas (Penn Graduate School of Education) — focuses quite a bit on representations of (and by) Black women in popular culture. It came out in 2019, & I was expecting to see it on the list. Very interesting list you’ve got here!

  • Thank you for your work! I recommend adding Labor Pains: New Deal Fictions of Race, Work, and Sex in the South by Christin Marie Taylor (Shenandoah University), published by the University Press of Mississippi this year.

  • Nemata Blyden, African Americans and Africa: A New History (Yale University Press, 2019)

  • Thanks for this list. It is a super helpful compilation. I have found the book In the Wake: On Blackness and Being by Christina Sharpe, very powerful and important. It includes quite a bit of reflection on how Black women live and die in the wake.

    Also, I think Jenniffer Nash’s Black feminism reimagined, is a super important and provocative contribution to think Black feminism beyond intersectionality. Many thanks again.

    In solidarity, Laura

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